Eight consecutive nights of movie goodness kicks off tomorrow night when the 2012 Austin Film Festival starts. If parties and panels are more your thing, AFF has those too — and in spades.
If you’ve never been to a film festival before, AFF is a great one to start with (and continue attending each year). With the $125 Lone Star Badge, you get access to the priority badge lines for all screenings and access to all panels on Saturday, Oct. 20, and the Pitch Finale Party and Film Pass Parties. SXSW doesn’t have a comparable badge at that price point, which makes AFF much more accessible. With an AFF Lone Star Badge, you can easily get into most screenings as long as you don’t mind waiting in line a bit, whereas with a SXSW film pass, you have a very slim chance of making into any venues smaller than the Paramount. For film fans, I don’t think there’s a better deal around than the AFF Lone Star Badge.
AFF also offers movie buffs a chance to not only see some movies they might not otherwise see, but also the opportunity to frequently hear more about the movie firsthand from the filmmakers and stars. Last year, AFF brought one of the biggest stars in the world, one Johnny Depp, to the Paramount Theatre to talk about “The Rum Diary.” Stars and filmmakers confirmed so far for the 2012 AFF include James Franco, Julia Stiles, America Ferrera, Frank Darabont, “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter, “The Sopranos” creator David Chase and more.
Some of the movies that have been gaining a lot of buzz heading into AFF include tomorrow’s opening night feature “Not Fade Away,” David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook,” Robert Zemeckis’ “Flight,” the Bill Murray-as-FDR flick “Hyde Park on Hudson,” comedy “It’s a Disaster,” the wonderful John Hawkes in “The Sessions” and “Francophrenia,” which could be the strangest pick of the festival with its description as a documentary thriller about Franco’s time on “General Hospital.”
So will you be heading out to AFF? Which films are you most excited about?